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Moria 35 Update - 26 of the 35 remain detained - 7 face imminent deportation
9.5.18
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Published by Lesvos Legal Centre on 5 May 2018
Seven of the #Moria35 face deportation on Thursday 10 May 2018. In a process fraught with procedural violations, they have had their applications for asylum rejected. After over a year of dehumanizing treatment, from Moria Camp, to the vicious attack by the police, followed by nine months of unjust imprisonment, they now face being sent to Turkish prison, and likely deportation to the countries they fled.

Furthermore, all are eligible for humanitarian protection in Greece as victims or witnesses of a serious crime. Three have themselves filed complaints against the police for the attack against them, and there is an open ongoing investigation initiated by the public prosecutor against the police, for which all seven are important witnesses.

Their deportation will not only violate their rights to due process, but will ensure the continued impunity of the police in their policies of violent repression in the Greek hotspots. To stop the deportation contact the Lesvos Police at +30 22510 37721, 58800, 58803 and the Regional Asylum Office at +30 2251032323 or pga.lesvou [at] asylo.gov.gr.

Over one week since the Mixed July Court in Chios found 32 of the 35 accused guilty and issued a suspended sentence – meaning that all 32 should be released from prison – 26 of the Moria 35 remain detained. 21 are being detained inside Moria Camp, and 5 in Petrou Ralli detention centre in Athens. Included among the 26 is one individual who was found not guilty.

After nine months of unjust imprisonment, they now must face immigration authorities. All 26 detained are asylum seekers, and they are being held in “administrative” detention purportedly to assess their legal status in Greece – a practice we have long denounced as a violation of the procedural requirements of EU and Greek law, which explicitly prohibit holding people in detention for the sole reason that they have applied for international protection. While many have already had their claims for international protection rejected, they have the right to appeal, and authorities have not individually assessed, nor provided comprehensive reasoning to detain these 26 individuals while their asylum applications and appeals are pending, as required by law. For the few who have been released from prison, they have been returned to the inhumane and overcrowded conditions of Moria camp.

The Chios Court’s order for the release of the Moria 35 is a bittersweet victory, as the State’s hostile policies which led to the violent arrest and imprisonment of the 35 continue to marginalize them upon their release. In an immigration system which discounts environmental and economic refugees, and ignores Europe’s colonial past and economic imperialism in the countries from which individuals are fleeing, many could have their cases rejected and face deportation. Their perceived ‘freedom’ has been short-lived, and the fight to free the Moria 35 is not over.


Background

Moria 35 Trial Ends in Conviction of 32 – But After 9 Months of Unjust Detention, the 35 will Finally be Free! (Lesbos Legal Centre, link)

Op-Ed: Moria 35 – Trial at the Gates of Fortress Europe (ECRE, link)

And see: Greece: Overcrowded, dangerous and insufficient access to healthcare in Moria (MSF, link)

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